The inspiration for the Young Heroes Outreach Program is the Museum’s Young Heroes Award. For years, this award program has recognized and rewarded students who make a difference in their schools and communities.
In addition to the student-centered approach, YHOP includes comprehensive professional development and support for teachers, who work in partnership with NLM Educators to implement this unique, project-based program in their schools.
YHOP uses a scaffolded learning format divided into 5 key Phases. The Lessons provide context and allow the students to discover content related to civics, responsible citizenship, leadership, advocacy, media literacy, research, and social issues. Along the way, students use their knowledge to take action and make progress through the identification, research, and execution of a student-led Action Project. The Phases organize the content and activities into larger themes or steps and provide opportunities for students and Classroom Teachers to check in and reflect on their progress. At the conclusion of the program, students attend the YHOP Impact Celebration, a year-end gathering of all participating schools, where they showcase their Action Projects to other students, school faculty, family members, community leaders, and sponsors.
The Young Heroes Outreach Program is a proud Signature Program of America250PA, the Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial. With the support of America250PA, YHOP will expand across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by 2026.
The National Liberty Museum, primarily through the Young Heroes Outreach Program, is a proud Champion of Educating for American Democracy (EAD) and stands in agreement that K–12 education plays a pivotal role in ensuring the next generation is prepared to strengthen and sustain our constitutional democracy.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE PROGRAM?
- Teach students the concepts and skills that will prepare them for responsible citizenship and help them to succeed at school, at work, and as contributing members of their communities.
- Guide students in identifying, researching, and acting on social issues in their school or community.
- Embed opportunities for students to apply their First Amendment rights, character strengths, and unique abilities to take constructive action and become positive change agents.
- Foster within students the confidence that, through self-determination and active citizenship, they can be changemakers in their schools, communities, and nation.
WHAT KIND OF TEACHERS SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
We are looking for teachers who value character and civic education, believe in the importance of student voice, and feel comfortable implementing project-based learning strategies in the classroom. Teachers should have a desire for students to create high-quality work and make a difference in their world and community. Teachers should be able to have open communication with NLM Educators.
WHAT GRADES CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
YHOP is a year–long initiative for students in grades 4-8. Multiple grade levels from one school can participate in the program, with different levels of involvement and contribution. Contact us to discuss the most effective way to implement the program in your school.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT FOR THE PROGRAM?
Participating Classroom Teachers will be responsible for facilitating a series of Lessons, divided into 5 Phases, over the course of the school year from October through May. Each Lesson offers approximately 45-60 minutes of content and activities, all of which are flexible and complimentary to existing curriculum and classroom instruction. Classroom Teachers typically integrate YHOP curriculum into their regular instruction once a week or once every two weeks, depending on preference and class schedule. Classroom Teachers are expected to attend at least 4 YHOP professional development sessions over the course of the program, each lasting approximately 2 hours in the afternoon or early evening.
WHAT SUPPORT DO PARTICIPATING TEACHERS RECEIVE DURING THE PROGRAM?
Each participating school is paired with a NLM Educator who guides the Classroom Teachers and students through the program and provides support when needed. Throughout the program, each school’s NLM Educator leads 5 museum-based Lessons that enhance the content of the program and connect it to the museum’s exhibitions. Participating Classroom Teachers are also offered a series of free professional development workshops that are aligned with the content and skill development of the program, as well as supportive of their overall professional requirements and goals. These sessions are led by experts who provide valuable resources and discussion on topics such as trauma-informed teaching, social emotional learning, media literacy, student voice and choice, and community engagement. All sessions are eligible for Act48 credit.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROGRAM FOR PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS?
Thanks to the contributions of many generous corporations, foundations, and individuals who sponsor the Young Heroes Outreach Program, the program is available to all participating schools free of charge.
WILL PARTICIPATING STUDENTS GET TO VISIT THE NATIONAL LIBERTY MUSEUM?
Yes. Participation in YHOP includes a guided visit to the National Liberty Museum, virtually or in-person, based on school location or preference.
WHAT WILL THE PROGRAM LOOK LIKE DURING COVID-19?
YHOP can be conducted in a virtual or in-person format, allowing for flexibility with changing COVID-19 protocols. If NLM staff are visiting a school for an in-person lesson or meeting, they will follow all CDC, city, and school district health and safety protocols currently in place.